Program on Science, Technology and Society at Harvard

Harvard Kennedy School of Government | Harvard University

Fool Me Twice: AI and Surveillance Capitalism's Second Coming

Shoshana Zuboff

Author, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism; Charles Edward Wilson Professor Emerita, Harvard Business School

April 10, 2024, 5:00pm-7:00pm
Science Center Lecture Hall D, 1 Oxford Street, Harvard University


In 2023 generative AI was thrust into the consumer space, signaling a new era. Looked at another way, it also triggered a vast parade of groundhog days. Surveillance capitalism’s antidemocratic original sins and its progress toward totalities of knowledge and power are repeated, upscaled, and driven further into everyday life. There is a genuine path out of this house of mirrors that leads through theory and politics-- comprehension, communication, and collective action. There is progress to build on. Will a new generation take up this challenge for the sake of a democratic information civilization?


Sven Beckert

Laird Bell Professor of History, Harvard University

Mathias Risse

Berthold Beitz Professor in Human Rights, Global Affairs and Philosophy, and Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

Bruce Schneier

Faculty Affiliate, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School, and Fellow, Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, Harvard Law School

Moderated by

Sheila Jasanoff

Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies, Harvard Kennedy School

About the speaker

Shoshana Zuboff is the Charles Edward Wilson Professor Emerita at Harvard Business School. She is the author of three books: In the Age of the Smart Machine: The Future of Work and Power (1988); The Support Economy: Why Corporations Are Failing Individuals and the Next Episode of Capitalism (with James Maxmin, 2002); and The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power (2018). The last synthesizes years of research and thinking to reveal a world in which technology users are neither customers, employees, nor products. Instead they are the raw material for new procedures of manufacturing and sales that define an entirely new economic order: a surveillance economy. She joined the Harvard Business School in 1981. In 2024-2025 she will join Mathias Risse as co-director of the Human Rights and Technology Program at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.

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